July 28, 2009 -- Ontario is taking clear action to help families impacted by the recent collapse of Imagine Adoption/Kids Link.
Earlier today, Minister of Children and Youth Services Deb Matthews met with families affected by the recent collapse of the agency. During the meeting, Matthews indicated that the province would:
* Act quickly to consider any licensing requests should a reconstituted agency emerge from bankruptcy, while protecting the safety of kids
* Ensure home studies – evaluations of potential adoptive parents by agencies – conducted by Imagine Adoption/Kids Link will be transferable to other adoption agencies.
* Consider ways in which the international adoption system can be strengthened, as the facts surrounding this situation emerge.
Ontario is also working with the federal government to ensure that visas are expedited for children whose adoptions have been completed so they can make it home to their adoptive families in Canada.
The province will continue to work with the bankruptcy trustee BDO Dunwoody to explore all possible options to assist families at all stages of the adoption process, once the status of the Adoption/Kids Link is determined through the bankruptcy process.
“It’s heart-breaking when your hopes and dreams of starting a family are jeopardized. Adopting a child from another country is already a lengthy and emotional process. I want these families to know we’re doing everything we can to help them.” - Deb Matthews, Minister of Children and Youth Services
* Since the bankruptcy, at least nine Ethiopian children have received their visas and are travelling or have arrived in Canada.
* An estimated 36 Ethiopian children have already been matched with Canadian parents and are being cared for in a transition home in Ethiopia.
* Ontario is working with the federal government to expedite visas for those children whose adoptions have already been completed.
* Kevin Spafford, Minister’s Office, 416-212-7159
* Ryan Rigby, Ministry of Children and Youth Services , 416-325-5156